Metaglossia: The Translation World
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Metaglossia: The Translation World
News about translation, interpreting, intercultural communication, terminology and lexicography - as it happens
Curated by Charles Tiayon
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Maltese in a digital age -

A recent front page article in this newspaper suggested that Maltese, together with a number of other “small” European languages, risks being left out in the cold in the digital age (Maltese At Risk Of Digital Extinction, October 1). The immediate motivation for the article was a report published under the auspices of Metanet, a Europe-wide network of research centres involved in the development of language technology and re­sources, of which the University of Malta’s Department of Intelligent Computer Systems and Institute of Linguistics form part.
The digital extinction of Maltese is being addressed by ongoing developments both within academia and industry
- Albert Gatt
The report adopted the term digital extinction to describe the risk faced by languages which do not have adequate support in various areas of language technology.
The term has a satisfyingly ominous ring to it, one that was no doubt designed for the pages of the popular press.
Nevertheless, the point made by the report is well-taken. Broadly speaking, it is this: while some languages – notably English – appear to have a comfortable existence in the digital/computational world, as indicated both by their frequency of use in the electronic media and by the development of intelligent, language-sensitive technology for these languages, others like Maltese are far less well represented and are therefore a cause for concern.
There are two important prin­ciples that implicitly underlie this report.
The first is that multilinguality should be safeguarded as an outward manifestation of cultural and social diversity, with technology functioning as a bridge to effective communication.
The second is that all languages should be equal, that is, all speakers should be able to avail themselves of technology to facilitate communication, no matter how small the linguistic community they hail from.!
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More students successfully certified as proofreaders of Maltese

The awards ceremony of the Certificate of Proofreading in Maltese was recently held at the University of Malta in which 28 students were awarded. In all, 172 proofreaders have completed this university course since its commencement in 2006.
This one-year, part-time university course leading to the Certificate of Proofreading in Maltese is organised by the Department of Maltese at the University of Malta, in collaboration with the Kunsill Nazzjonali tal-Ilsien Malti.

The next course will start in February.!
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